WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, today delivered the following opening statement at the markup of the Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.
This is Chairman Boozman’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:
Today the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee will markup its bill for fiscal year 2017. This is an important step as the Appropriation Committee moves closer to completing action on all 12 appropriations bills.
As chairman of the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee, I have enjoyed working with my ranking member, Senator Coons, and all of the members of our subcommittee.
This bill provides $22.4 billion in discretionary funding which is approximately $1 billion less than fiscal year 2016. That is a significant reduction. However, as described by the vice chairman of the full committee, the subcommittee allocations this year are snug but fair. Our allocation required us to make some tough choices but the bill includes sufficient funding for the agencies in our jurisdiction as well as ensures appropriate oversight.
This bill funds a diverse group of over 26 independent agencies as well as the Executive Office of the President, the White House, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Judiciary, and the District of Columbia.
We’ve worked hard to make targeted investments. The bill provides important funding for efforts to combat terrorism, support the administration of justice and target heroin and prescription drug abuse. The bill continues robust support for small businesses, maintaining the increased level of funding received in December, including for Entrepreneurial Development Programs. We have also made efforts to make cybersecurity and agency oversight a priority, through funding, stricter accountability and transparency and enhanced reporting requirements.
Before turning to Senator Coons for any comments he may have, I would like to thank him for his work on the subcommittee. I appreciate his commitment to the Committee’s work and his desire to get back to regular order.
I know that he and I may not necessarily agree on our approach to every aspect of this bill. However we have made a serious effort to make responsible decisions as how to best allocate limited resources and be as responsive to the numerous requests and advice we have received from members of the committee and the rest of the Senate. I am hopeful that the bill will gain bipartisan support when we go before the full committee tomorrow. Members who would like to see changes will have an opportunity then to offer amendments, and I respect their right to do so. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Coons and all Members of the Committee as the bill moves forward.